In a recent article from The New Your Times, “Even a 10-Minute Walk May Be Good for the Brain“, published on October 24, 2018, researchers found that just “ten minutes of mild exercise can immediately improve how certain parts of the brain communicate and coordinate with one another and improve memory”. Previous studies have involved moderate or vigorous exercise like jogging or brisk walking over weeks or months at a time. This study was done for 10 minutes on an exercise bike, so slowly that it barely raised the heart rate.
Eureka! This is great news! Literally, any effort whatsoever is good for overall health and especially for the brain. This is huge. The exertion required can be so slight as to allow almost anyone, even those who are out of shape or possibly disabled, to complete the exercise.
“Multiple studies with mice and rats have found that when the animals run on wheels or treadmills, they develop more new brain cells than if they remain sedentary. Many of the new cells are clustered in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain that is essential for memory creation and storage.”
The sedentary lifestyle is so damaging to our health that it is considered to be as bad as smoking. Motion is life. Lack of motion literally leads to a shorter life span, in large part due to increased heart disease and cancer. We do not stay healthy without regular motion.
The current recommendations are for 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. This is just 30 minutes 5 times a week. It does not have to be in 30-minute blocks of time. It can be 10 minutes here, and 20 minutes there. It all adds up. And every 10 minutes is worthwhile.
In the area of exercise, it seems that the more you move, the healthier you will be. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to exercise when you are causing injuries, use common sense. But the studies show that the fittest people generally live the longest.
So, think of all the easy ways there are to move more. Park further away from the store. Take the stairs. A quick walk before or after work is probably the easiest way to get moving. Exercising outside helps connect with nature and is great for brain and heart health. Many of our patients walk around our office complex after their adjustment. This is a two for one: another 10 minutes of motion and it helps you hold your adjustment!
What exercise are you able to build into your life to improve your brain, memory, and longevity? You are worth it!
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Source: Reynold, Gretchen. “Even a 10-Minute Walk May Be Good for the Brain.” The New York Times. October 24, 2018